It's Earth day and we wanted to help explain how you can be environmentally consiouce during the construction of your next fence. One of the most popular types of fence material right now is PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. PVC has plenty of benefits: it's a cost effective alternative to wood or aluminum, it's lightweight and durable, it's easy to add color too, etc. All those things are great, but what if you're concerned about taking care of the earth?
PVC is a thermoplastic--a substance that loses its shape when heated, and then becomes rigid again as it cools. Heat can help shape PVC into countless useful forms. In fact, its thermoplastic properties make recycling PVC relatively easy because, with heat, this material can be reshaped for new uses. PVC and polyethylene, another plastic, are the most widely used of all thermoplastics.
PVC differs from many plastics in that its production not only involves oil but also contains salt, which is available in abundance.[relevant? – discuss] Recycled PVC is broken down into small chips, impurities removed, and the product refined to make pure white PVC. It can be recycled roughly seven times and has a lifespan of around 140 years.
In the UK, approximately 400 tonnes of PVC are recycled every month. Property owners can recycle it through nationwide collection depots. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), for example, after initially rejecting PVC as material for different temporary venues of the London Olympics 2012, has reviewed its decision and developed a policy for its use. This policy highlighted that the functional properties of PVC make it the most appropriate material in certain circumstances while taking into consideration the environmental and social impacts across the whole life cycle, e.g. the rate for recycling or reuse and the percentage of recycled content. Temporary parts, like roofing covers of the Olympic Stadium, the Water Polo Arena, and the Royal Artillery Barracks, would be deconstructed and a part recycled in the Vinyloop process.